Nigerian Football Prodigy Rising on Oshoala’s Path to Stardom

Nigerian Football Prodigy Rising on Oshoala’s Path to Stardom
Credit: Iconsport

In the world of Nigerian women's football, a young prodigy is capturing attention with her exceptional skills and towering presence on the field. Seimeheya Akekoromewei, a 16-year-old center forward from Ese-Odo in Ondo State but raised in Lagos, is making waves with her remarkable abilities and determination. A product of the Asisat Oshoala Academy, she has drawn comparisons to the legendary Nigerian footballer Asisat Oshoala, a five-time winner of the African Women's Footballer of the Year Award. With her talent and drive, Akekoromewei is poised to carve her own path to success.

Akekoromewei's love for the game of football started at a young age and has been the driving force behind her journey in the sport. Reflecting on her early years, she shares, “I like the game naturally, since I was a kid, I played football, starting around 9 or 10. It's a gift from God, and I play with both my legs.”

Despite not having many opportunities to watch football due to school commitments, Akekoromewei honed her skills by playing during break times, Saturday mornings and evenings, and sometimes even on Sundays. Her dedication and passion for the game fueled her progress, as she played more and began to understand and appreciate the intricacies of football.

For Akekoromewei, football is not only about enjoyment but also about hard work, discipline, and teamwork. She emphasizes the importance of training regularly, following instructions, and collaborating with teammates. Recognizing that success in football requires collective effort, she understands that she cannot achieve her goals alone.

Raised in a family of 11 children, with her father, Ekperekunmo Akekoromowei Igbala, a retired police officer, and her late mother, Seimeheya has faced her fair share of challenges. Her older brother, Godspower Akekoromowei, who also plays professional football, supports her dreams and shares his aspirations for her.

“I want her to play professional football and one day play for the Nigerian national team,” he expressed.

He further highlights the family's decision to prioritize Seimeheya's football career over her education due to financial constraints. Their hope is that she can focus on pursuing her passion for football and reach new heights.

Akekoromewei primarily operates as a striker, showcasing her natural goal-scoring abilities. However, she possesses the versatility to adapt to different positions, including playing as a number 10 or on the wing when required by the coach. Her goal-scoring instincts, coupled with her physical attributes and skill with both feet, make her a formidable presence on the field. Inspired by football icons Lionel Messi and Asisat Oshoala, she aspires to leave her mark on the sport.

“I love the game, and my idol is Lionel Messi,” she reveals. “I also watch Asisat Oshoala and try to be like her as well.”

Handling pressure and expectations comes with the territory of being a talented young player. However, Akekoromewei maintains focus and resilience. She approaches each game with a calm mindset, reading the game and understanding her role. Her ability to handle pressure is evident in her performances, where there are instances when she feels less burdened by expectations.

Akekoromewei's commitment to football is unwavering. With her schooling temporarily on hold, her focus is solely on the game she loves. She is determined to improve and be the best version of herself.

Her ultimate dream is to play at a higher level and represent Nigeria on the international stage. “I want to play at a higher level, at a better place, to be the best version of myself,” she declares. “It'll be a dream come true to play for Nigeria one day.”

Despite her young age, Akekoromewei has already made her mark as a prolific goal-scorer, with an impressive record as the top scorer for her academy team, averaging four goals per game. Her towering height provides an advantage in aerial situations, while her proficiency with both feet adds to her versatility on the field.

Continuous improvement is crucial to Akekoromewei's development as a player. She acknowledges the importance of fitness and speed in enhancing her skills as a striker, striving to become a complete player in her position.

As Akekoromewei's star continues to rise, she aims to inspire young girls who share her passion for football. She envisions a future where she finds herself in a better place, both as an individual and as part of a team. Her aspiration is to play at the highest level and constantly improve her game.

Seimeheya Akekoromewei, the rising star following in Asisat Oshoala's footsteps, represents the future of Nigerian women's football. At just 16 years old, she possesses immense potential, and the sky is the limit for this talented forward. With her dedication, skills, and dreams, Akekoromewei is poised to make her mark in the football world and inspire generations to come.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. She grew up in a footballing environment, supporting both Bayern Munich and Wydad Athletic Club. She began her English journalism career by hosting a podcast for the first English radio station in Morocco. Currently, the Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBall Live readers.